City Public Service Prepares for Competition Through Automation

In preparation for competition, City Public Service (CPS) of San Antonio, Texas, has recognized the need to operate more efficiently and contain costs associated with everyday core business activities. In addition, CPS recognizes the need to customize service to the ratepayer and provide more options to accommodate the customer`s lifestyle. For a utility to maintain its existing customer base in the face of "retail wheeling," customer satisfaction must be enhanced.

The Forces of Change: Technology and Deregulation

The utility industry is undergoing a dramatic restructuring driven largely by deregulation and shifts in the economy. Rapid change looms on the horizon, especially for the electric utility industry. While it is always difficult to predict the future with certainty, history gives us useful guidelines about what is likely to happen as restructuring moves forward.

Software and the Changing Utilities Market

When Newmarket Hydro goes on line this summer with new software to serve its 20,000 customers more efficiently, it will simultaneously replace an obsolete information system and improve its cash position by about $600,000. What the commission is doing is consistent with an emerging trend among utilities to be more competitive with hydro rates and generally improve services to customers. Otherwise there is a very real risk of being privatized or absorbed into a regional public utility.

“Geo-engineering” System Empowers Hawaii Department of Water Supply

Almost two-thirds of the State of Hawaii`s land area is on the "Big Island" of Hawaii. On those 4,038 square miles lie white sandy beaches, tropical rain forests, rolling pasture lands and the majestic Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Also on the island are some 35,000 water customers who consume 7.4 million gallons daily. They are served by 27 water systems managed by the Department of Water Supply (DWS), County of Hawaii. The island`s varying geology, aging water supply systems, demand to accommodate

SCADA Makes its Way to Northwest Arkansas

Springdale, Ark., is a city nestled in northwest Arkansas just north of Fayetteville. Springdale`s water and wastewater utilities serve the nation`s largest poultry-producing center, making demands on the city`s water and wastewater utilities disproportionate to the population. Springdale Water Utilities (SWU) purchases finished water from the Beaver Water District located on the beautiful Beaver Lake Reservoir. The utility stores and repumps the water to its 17,500 water connections, but with t

Telecommunication Media Technologies for Distribution Automation Systems

Distribution automation (DA) refers to the integration of measurement and control devices with telecommunication and computer systems for real-time monitoring and (automatic) control of distribution systems. DA is implemented at three levels--substation automation, feeder automation (primary automation) and customer interface automation (secondary automation).

Electric Utilities Continue to Make Strong Investments in Automation

Electric utilities in the United States and Canada are planning 333 SCADA system projects over the next two years. The projects are valued at more than $315 million. And, 64 projects have budgets exceeding $1 million. These projects and others are described in a series of detailed reports published by PennWell Research.

From Information Management to Customer Satisfaction

From the Florida panhandle to the Everglades, Sprint provides local telephone service to more than 1.7 million subscribers across 350 communities and 36 counties. Sprint of Florida is part of the Sprint Corp., which serves more than 6.4 million local customer lines in 19 states. In Florida, customers` communications needs are anticipated by the Sprint Central Office Engineering (COE) division--an increasingly important role in today`s deregulated communications environment.

Meter-reading Communication

The Telereader TR101 by Nertec is repackaged to fit inside single-phase meters. Installed on existing meters in minutes, the TR101 reports readings in various intervals from increments of 15 minutes to seven days and reports power outages. The module is totally remote and communicates via the telephone, thus enabling the transfer of meter reading information and reprogrammed instructions. The TR101 retrofits any existing single-phase meters.

Digital Storage Oscilloscope

Yokogawa`s DL1520 is a two-channel version of the DL1540 Digital Oscilloscope. It maintains the key features of the DL1540 such as 150 MHz bandwidth, 100 MS/s sampling on two channels and 200 MS/s on one channel. Memory is 10 kW/channel and 20 kW in roll mode. An external trigger input is available on the front panel, and a built-in printer provides a quick hard copy of the screen data. Standard features include real-time FFT, Snapshot and real-time recording.